Civil society groups predict electoral violence unless…

Civil society groups in the country are predicting chaos from electoral violence if the country’s hybrid system of governance is allowed to prevail under its present form.

The civil society groups are worried the present arrangement gives too much power to the Executive arm of government which opens it to abuse.

Chairman of the Civic Forum Initiative (CFI), Major General Nii Carl Coleman, says Ghana could be sitting on a time bomb which can be diffused only by all-inclusiveness, backed by constitutional reform.

The CFI is a broad coalition of civil society actors with membership drawn from NGOs, policy think tanks, faith-based organizations, community based organizations, youth groups, labour organizations, gender groups, and individual citizens.

The CFI was formed in 2008 in response to an appeal by the Electoral Commission for citizens to assist the Commission to clean up the national voters’ register, after the limited registration exercise of July 31 through to August 12, 2008, yielded a bloated register.

Speaking to Nhyira News on the sidelines of a media sensitization program on multi-party governance and constitutional reform in Accra, Major General Nii Carl Coleman, said the aftermath of the 2012 Election Petition case spells doom for the country.

‘The rhetoric that follows (the Election Petition) is that ‘next time we are not going to the courts to determine who won’. So it means that hook or crook they will do anything to make sure that everything is in their favour and that’s where the violence looms’, he said.

The civil society groups are calling, among other things, for election of district and municipal chief executives along party lines as well as merging Presidential, Parliamentary and District Assembly elections with clear guidelines on campaigning.

Major General Nii Carl Coleman believes the current system stifles development and could be a recipe for reactionary elements to expolit election tension to forment trouble.

Click the attached audio to listen to Ohemeng Tawaiah’s full report:

[Posted by GN]

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